Hearing aids are certainly an investment but one that is well worth it to improve your quality of life. It is important to have your hearing care provider clean and check your devices regularly. At the office, the staff is trained to safely clean the more delicate areas and have additional tools to do so. To ensure that your hearing aids are working properly with the best sound quality, it is important to take good care of them at home too. This at-home care could extend the life of your devices and save you from malfunctions and repair costs.
Hearing aids are made water resistant but not water proof. Moisture of any kind can cause serious damage so never wear them while showering or swimming. You should also take your hearing aids out while getting your hair cut too. (Not only is there a chance for them to get wet but also damage may occur from the scissors and/or clippers). If you use hair products, like hair spray, you should do this before inserting the hearing aids. A dehumidifier, specifically for hearing aids, may be recommended if you live in a humid area, tend to perspire heavily or have more oily skin than normal.
What should you do if your hearing aids do get wet? Dry them immediately with a towel. Do not use a hair dryer as the excessive heat may do even more damage. If possible, remove the batteries and make sure that the batteries and door are also dried with a cloth. Call your provider, if further assistance is needed.
Hearing aids emit sound through the ear canal which makes them susceptible to earwax and other debris. Even small amounts of wax can plug up the speakers and cause the hearing aids to sound weak, distorted or even dead. Without proper care, wax on the devices could cause them to be sent back to the manufacturer for repair – which could leave you without your hearing aids and/or with extra costs.
How should you clean your hearing aids? Wiping with a clean, dry cloth is always appropriate. If any wax is seen, it is recommended to use a soft bristle toothbrush to gently brush off any debris. All hearing aids will come with a small brush which can also be used. You may also be given a small tool with a wire loop on the end. This can be used to remove harder, more stubborn wax. If you brush your hearing aids every morning any wax that has gotten on the device from the day before has had a chance to dry and will more easily be removed with your brush.
What are wax guards? Other names used for wax guards are traps or filters. If your hearing aid requires a wax guard, these should be changed periodically. Your hearing car provider should show you how this is done so that you will feel comfortable changing these at home in between regular appointments in the office as needed. These filters are important to keep wax from getting to the internal components of the device but they can also get plugged themselves. It is important to note that not all wax guards are the same.
Batteries & Chargers
Some hearing aids use a traditional zinc-air battery. These will need to be changed out regularly. If you are not going to be using hearing aids for more than a few days, you should remove the batteries from the doors to avoid corrosion.
Some hearing aids are rechargeable. In this case, the battery contacts on the hearing aid and the charger should be kept clean as well. Use a dry, clean cloth to wipe both the hearing aid and where the devices sit in the charger.
Keep hearing aids (and batteries, chargers, cleaning tools etc) away from children and pets. Always hold them securely to avoid dropping them on hard surfaces. You may choose to clean, insert and remove the hearing aids over a small towel on a table until you are more comfortable.
Even with at home care, you should take your hearing aids into your provider for a more thorough, deep cleaning every 4-6 months. Schedule an appointment sooner if you suspect something is wrong or that the hearing aids are not working as they should.
If you have any questions on how to properly take care of your hearing aids, please contact any of our seven locations, so we can assist you!